For now, Gov. Ron DeSantis wins just by not paying attention to his most famous constituent. It must drive Trump crazy that his rival gets points for what he doesn’t do, while Trump is out there working the crowd, relitigating a losing case. Ignoring Trump may prove to be DeSantis’ secret weapon since nothing can make Trump crazier. And the more Trump attacks him, the bigger DeSantis gets. The challenge for the other contenders will be to find some space somewhere to stand.
The media feeds on Trump. Democrats won’t ignore him, nor will various prosecutors and Senate committees, if not the House. There are those pesky investigations that won’t go away. Every picture of Mar-a-Lago brings back memories of federal agents and boxes of documents. This is where he announced. Symbolism means nothing to this man.
Of course, running in a multi-candidate field isn’t near as much fun as being the president. Some former presidents might find the idea of being back in the brawl with the peanut gallery to be a step back, or a step down, but in Trump’s case, so long as the step leads to a microphone and a crowd, he’ll be happy enough.
A man who announces a week after such a disappointing election is a man who has no shame at all. And no allegiance to others in his party, for goodness’ sake. Republicans need Trump sucking all the oxygen out of the room like they need a rerun of the Trump presidency, which is what he offered the crowd on Tuesday.
And then there’s Kevin McCarthy who, having barely enough votes to be elected speaker, is expected to kowtow even more to the Trumpers on the right, even though that’s precisely whose politics were rejected by voters on Nov. 8. And now he’s supposed to swallow even more poison.
Pull up a chair for this one. A civil war inside the Republican Party is a recipe for another Trump defeat, one way or the other.